Dora García

Revolution, fulfill your promise!

February 5  –  April 24, 2022

The political potential of love —its strategies, manifestations, its character both intimate and public, and how it shapes community and creates legislation —form the backdrop of Dora García’s works.

Dora García presents Revolution, fulfill your promise!, a project that includes her two more recent films focused on the exceptional legacy of Alexandra Kollontai (St. Petersburg, 1872 - Moscow, 1952), an author, Marxist feminist, sex activist, political exile, and diplomat. Love with Obstacles (2020) and If I Could Wish for Something (2021), which will premiere in the US, are the first and second chapters of a trilogy that will culminate with Red Love (2023). Dora García traces and seeks to comprehend how the ideas Kollontai coined and implemented at the beginning of the 20th century, have been translated and transmitted across the globe, and how they have mutated, disappeared, and reemerged through the different waves of feminisms until today.

Love with Obstacles departs from research into the Kollontai files at the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute (now RGASPI) in Moscow and features four letters, a short science fiction narrative, and a handwritten note. These documents are read by six different contemporary women, voicing Kollontai’s story of enthusiasm, disappointment, and faith in the future. The reading portrays the complexity of the figure of Kollontai, in contrast to how she has been officially presented in Russia. If I Could Wish for Something picks up a thread from Love with Obstacles–the image of a hand-carved present the Mexican workers gave to Kollontai when she was ambassador in Mexico–and jumps into present-day Mexican feminisms and transfeminisms.

Kollontai’s legacy is central to any genealogy of modern feminism and her ideas on radical social change continue to inspire and mobilize a new generation of feminist thinkers and activists.

Both films are produced by Auguste Orts. With support from Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Kulturrådet Oslo, KUF grant, KHiO Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Garage Field Research, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, On & For Production and Distribution, Diku Norwegian Artistic Research Program.

Image: Demonstrator (Sra. Margarita Robles de Mendoza) in Mexico, 1934; the sign reads: “Revolution, fulfill your promise, emancipate women!” Photo: Casasola, Fototeca Nacional, Mexico City, INAH.

Letters of Disappointment: Dora García's selection of Alexandra Kollontai's letters and diary entries from the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute in Moscow (translated into English), read by woman artists in 2021.

Alexandra Kollontai: Love Letters (Kärleksbrev, 1945) read by Mette Edvardsen, produced by Dora García and Auguste Orts.
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Alexandra Kollontai: Letter to Pavel Dybenko (7-8 February 1922) read by Olga de Soto, produced by Dora García and Auguste Orts.
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Alexandra Kollontai: Diary draft, (March 1922) read by Samah Hijaw, produced by Dora García and Auguste Orts.
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Alexandra Kollontai: Letter to I.M. Maiskij (1952) read by Alex Reynolds, produced by Dora García and Auguste Orts.
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About the artist
Dora García was born in 1965 in Valladolid, Spain, and lives in Oslo. She often works with film, performance, and theater. Her research focuses on contemporary history, ethics, and politics. Dora García represented Spain at the 54th Venice Biennial in 2011. Her works have been exhibited internationally in museums and biennials, such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès, Brussels; Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto; Fonderie Darling - Centre d’Arts Visuels, Montreal; FRAC Île-de-France, Paris; Tate Modern, London; Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris; as well as (d)OCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, 2nd Athens Biennial, Lyon Biennial, 29th São Paulo Biennial, and the Gwangju Biennial. This is her first solo show in New York.